Both Michigan society and the courts are favoring robust co-parenting arrangements. When parents otherwise may have an acrimonious relationship when they split, the newer atmosphere of consideration of what is in the best interests of the children may persuade them to work harder for a truce.
As noted by USA Today, it is more prevalent for the law to treat parents equally without regard to gender when it comes to visitation and custody. Long gone are the days when custody went to the mother by default and the father necessarily received far less time with the children.
Michigan law is no different, recognizing that the best interests of the children are paramount. Co-parenting is the description that underscores the state’s desire to promote a strong relationship between parent and the children. The time given to a parent and child should be of the type that helps foster the close relationship. Frequency is similarly important, as is the duration of that time together.
Flexibility to change scheduling as per the needs of the children is very important, and a parent who is unwilling to be flexible in that way may find that he or she may not be the best parent to make decisions on behalf of the children. If the parents cannot come to a co-parenting arrangement between themselves or with the help of their attorneys, the court must create a schedule for them.
To be a successful parent after a relationship split may require becoming a competent co-parent. Being able to talk civilly to the other parent about child-related matters is primary. Exercising restraint from grandiose gifts and special events designed to win favor with the children will help promote better co-parenting results also. Refraining from negative comments about the other parent in front of the children, or at all, is necessary as well. Being able to positively solve conflicts with the other parent will benefit both the children and the parents, minimize or eliminate any need for court involvement, and avoid the stress to children that comes with it.